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Archived: Vintage Lightweights

AGE / VALUE:   good laugh posted by: sam on 10/19/2003 at 2:54:56 AM
Need to drop by this group more offten.Sure pick up interesting post! On the "good laugh" post would add--take a look at the rear stays on the Truss bridge bike Major Taylor is riding.That's the difference in the race bike and consumer bike.Realy couldn't tell if the bike on ebay had stright or bent stays---sam

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   good laugh posted by Keith on 10/21/2003 at 6:57:33 PM
I've since discovered another picture of a truss-bridge bicycle being used for racing. Pryor Dodge's The Bicycle at 140 includes a photo of world motor pacing champion Georges Seres behind a derny. Also, the text explains that what was probably the same 1899 event referred to by Pridmore & Hurd had Major Taylor riding behind a steam-powered motorcycle that required two riders -- one to steer and another to operate the engine. I'd think this would have been among the first motor-paced events. It's hard to tell, but I think the stays on the eBay bike are straight. I'm not certain whether this is an indication that it is a true racer as opposed to a roadworthy racer look-alike marketed to the general public. The consumer model in Pridmore & Hurd appears to have straight stays as well. In any event, the auction is almost over with no bids so far. For some reason the photographs on the majortaylor.com site have changed since our discussion.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Alesa 27 x 1 1/4" alloy rims, Old Normandy Hubs posted by: Maurice on 10/18/2003 at 8:18:58 PM
I'm trying to determine the correct time period of a set of Alesa 27 x 1/14" alloy rims I just found NOS. I have heard they were produced by Weinmann, yet the Weinmann name doesn't appear on the rim. Additional markings are: IRTO 630x16 "Made in Belgium" 116 alloy - I also have a pair of Normandy hubs that have no additional markings, just "Normandy" stamped on the front and rear hubs - I have seen these hubs with "Made in France" and usually dated - one of the hubs has the flat Juy Simplex skewer with double ridged end nut - Thanks for any insight.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS: Alesa 27 x 1 1/4 posted by Warren on 10/19/2003 at 11:05:56 PM
I believe the Alesa rims are some of the earlier ones...made from the 50's through the 70's. If I'm not mistaken, they have the raised dimples around the spokes and are convex? Nice rims.

AGE / VALUE:   Bicycle Museum of America posted by: Keith on 10/18/2003 at 6:10:39 PM
Yesterday I spent most of the day at the Bicycle Museum of America, located in sleepy little new Breman, Ohio. Going there was birthday present from my family. Most of the bicycles featured in Pridmore & Hurd's The American Bicycle, and Pridmore's Classic American Bicycles are there, plus many more. The museum consists largely of what was left of the Schwinn collection when it went to auction. Jim Dicky bought almost all of the bicycles with the express intent of keeping them together and displaying them for the public to see. Highlights include an 1816 Draisine, a 1937 Schwinn Paramount Prototype, an experimental Schwinn lightweight with a titanium frame, the oldest Schwinn-built bike known to exist (1895 New World), a replica of the Letourner 1941 108.9mph Paramount, and many, many others -- ordinanies ("high-wheelers), safety bikes, ballooners, krates, customs, lightweights, and on and on. They even had Frank Schwinn's personal bike -- a 3-speed Paramount with upright bars, and Ignaz Schwinn's family tandem (with a baby seat for Frank built in). It was facinating to study all of these machines up close. It's truly amazing how many of them were in perfect condition -- better than my modern bikes. One of the most striking impressions I'm left with is how quickly design advanced in the 1890s, and how many features of today's bicycles existed then. If you can possibly go, do so.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Bicycle Museum of America posted by gary m on 10/19/2003 at 6:48:23 AM
i can tell you this a freind of mine went to the Schwinn Museum sale and bit deep. he got some real nice peices.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Bicycle Museum of America posted by gary m on 10/19/2003 at 6:52:25 AM
Like the first Phantom ever made. sat behind the desk of the Schwinn CEO until the sale. mint on the inside, burnt to a crisp on the outside and a experimental serial number. several prototypes, last stingray off the line, 40s Continental tandem never set on.
several old pacing track bikes a 6 man racer, list goes on.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Bicycle Museum of America posted by Keith on 10/20/2003 at 2:10:32 PM
This collection includes the 1 millionth Schwinn ever made, the millionth Schwinn made in 1968 (an Orange Krate), and an out-of-the box Blue Phantom (I didn't know there was such a thing -- and it's not a repop) with the glossiest paint I've ever seen on an old bike. BTW the owner's name is Jim Dicke, not Dicky. I feel the community owes him a real debt -- being able to see all of these bikes as a progression from the Draisine to a carbon Kestel is something that wouldn't have happened if it had all been auctioned off to individual collectors all over the world. Another thing -- the musuem is also a repository for all of the Schwinn papers from over the years. Not available to the public yet, but they're working on it.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Bicycle Museum of America posted by Derek Coghill on 10/20/2003 at 10:48:11 PM
Ignatz Schwinn was the one who owned Excelsior Motorcycles for a while, wasn't he?

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Bicycle Museum of America posted by Keith on 10/21/2003 at 2:25:56 PM
Schwinn bought Excelsior in 1911, and produced the motorcycles until 1931. Schwinn also bought the Henderson Motorcycle Company in 1917.

AGE / VALUE:   Bianchi Sports posted by: paul on 10/17/2003 at 8:09:15 PM
Bianch Sports 20 inch seat post, magenta color, mixte Tange 900 double butted frame(Japan), Mangaloy 2001 Fork Manganese Alloy, quick release front and rear, 27X1 Panaracer on alloy rims, Selle saddle,Sahae crank, SR stem and Sahae dropbars,gumwall hoods, Shimano group throughout 12 speed $90 delivery possible in Southern New England prefer not to ship, discount if you pick up South of Boston, MA thanks for looking! paul PS: "Bianchi" in e mail subject avoids deletion, digimage available

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Source for Tires posted by: Gralyn on 10/16/2003 at 8:20:54 PM
I know this has probably been posted before....
But does anyone know of a good source for bicycle tires at reasonable prices? I know I need lots of 27" tires. 1" to 1 1/4". I can get some basic gum wall tires at X-mart from $5.99 to $6.99. Then, I can jump up and buy some for about $35 each from other places. ...and even 700C's for around $50 or so. But, I really need the 27" tires. Is there anything in the middle....decent quality....for about $10 - $15 each?.....in 1", 1 1/8" and 1 1/4" sizes?

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Source for Tires posted by elvis p. on 10/16/2003 at 10:50:08 PM
dear gralyn,
other than x-mart, which i find fine 27 inch tires and tubes
for the price,go to www.bikenashbar.com.they carry hundereds
of lightweight tires at very reasonable price,s.
with price,s from $9.95 beyond,you should find what you need.
you can punch on for a free catalog,and belive me,after
using them for twenthy years,they have the best deals going.
mail order with them is superb as it gets.
thank ya,thank ya very much!!!!!!

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Source for Tires posted by JONathan on 10/17/2003 at 2:50:47 AM
I have the same dilemma. Those heavy, cheap tires used to be pretty decent, but they've been cheapened even more (hard to believe that is possible) and they are 70psi, not 90psi like they used to be.
The price has crept up to $11.99 because they can get away with it. I scour the LBS's and snap up all the 27's I can find. Specialized "transition" is a great tire if you can find them in 27's. I use the cheap ones on the steel rims, where weight is academic.
There are a few shops around that provide service for a large commuter population around here, which makes it easier to find the 27's, although the selection is for heavy service tires rather than sport 27's. The "continentals" are the best for my money, if you can find them.
Check where vintage bikes are serviced; near universities and train stations works for me. The mail order sounds great, too. I guess I'm old-fashioned in wanting to see the product before I buy it, but my wife does fine with the mail order marketplace...not bicycle stuff.

   RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS: Source for Tires posted by P.C. Kohler on 10/17/2003 at 2:55:59 AM
I recently reshod my 1951 Raleigh Clubman with a pair of Ascent (made by Chin Seng) 27" x 1 1/4" 90 psi gumwall tyres. Bought them on sale at Nashbar for $9.95 ea. So far they have been entirely satisfactory and best of all look very much like the classic Dunlop HP roadracing tyres.

P.C. Kohler

   RE:RE:RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS: Source for Tires posted by Gralyn on 10/17/2003 at 2:44:02 PM
I checked Nashbar - yes, it looks like that's going to be the ticket for me. Many of the older, cheaper, lower-end, bike boom bikes I have - it does pretty well to use those cheap X-mart tires. But, even the half-way decent older lightweights I have - I would much rather put a better tire on. It's great that I can get some 27 X 1 and 27 X 1 1/8.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Source for Tires posted by Mark C. on 10/17/2003 at 4:58:12 PM
Another source I have had good luck with for 27" tires is Perfomance Bicycles. I'm fortunate enough to have one of their retail stores within driving distance and they have a very nice gumwall 27" in either 1 1/8" or 1 1/4" sizes. The list price is $9.99 but the store always has them on sale for $7.95. They are rated for 90 or 100 psi (don't recall which) and they even have a kevlar bead version that is about $5.00 more. I've had good luck with them and if there is a store near by they always have a dicontinued tire bin where I can get great deals on other tires like for my mountain bikes and such.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Source for Tires posted by Keith on 10/18/2003 at 6:10:23 PM
The best 27" tires I've used have been Panracer Paselas (about $13 from Nashbar) and the IRC Road Winner II (about the same price from aebike.com). Both are reasonably lightweight and have more supple casings than cheap department store tires.

   RE:RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Source for Tires posted by Wings on 10/19/2003 at 2:36:21 PM
Watchl the Nashbar sales on tires! They have some great sale prices on tires -- usually in the fall and winter. Get on their catalog mailing list. The catalog is loaded with sale items and arrives frequently. Check their web site on Friday night for weekend specials! When I see a good deal at Nashbar I usually stock up for a year! :)

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Source for Tires posted by Ken on 10/19/2003 at 4:13:43 PM
Gralyn, I've bought a lot of tires from both Performance and Nashbar, and agree with Keith's call on Panaracer Paselas and IRC Road Winner. But my favorite in the price range, available in 700s and 27" is the Continental Sport 1000 (formerly 100). The IRC is lighter than the Conti or the Panaracer, but therefore more fragile. I think the Conti's design makes for better cornering and smooth rolling, and it allows pretty high pressure. Last I looked, Performance didn't stock the 27" size but Nashbar did.

MISC:   Classic Bike Meet posted by: Rob on 10/16/2003 at 5:19:07 PM
I think most of you guys will want to check out this site...


CR has put up 8 pages of photos from the recent Velo Rendezvous held in Pasadena...amazing photos...some of bikes I've heard of but never seen, and some of bikes I hadn't even heard of...

There are photos of a Carlton with absolutely breath-taking lugwork, photos of a high-end German bike, Rickert, apparently one of the few to make it to the USA (and presumably Canada, as well), all sorts of French and Italian bikes..., a spectacular Rene Herse..., a Pogliaghi..., even a garage sale find, a Masi in original shape... The stuff of dreams!!!

    Classic Bike Meet posted by John E on 10/17/2003 at 4:04:46 PM
Thanks for posting, Rob. I really wish I had time to go this year, at least to show off the headlug-highlighting paint job on my 1959 Capo.

Chuck -- I enjoyed looking at the pictures on your website. Even the ones you presented apologetically were decent enough to highlight special bikes or features.

   RE: Classic Bike Meet posted by JONathan on 10/17/2003 at 11:29:49 PM
A+ work on those pics. That Gillot is very interesting. That Nishiki was something. Was that a stock Nishiki? Thanks for the post.

   RE:RE: Classic Bike Meet posted by T-Mar on 10/18/2003 at 1:11:13 PM
JONathan, that's a very good and interesting question! Based on the graphics, the bicyle is 1976 or earlier. Nishiki did offer touring/racing set-up options on some of their high end models, as my 1973 catalogue specs indicate this option for the top line Professional model. Those Suntour Power thumbshifters have the band attachment system that Suntour introduced in 1976. As to when the thumshifters first came out, that's another good question. Suntour ads for 1975 show stem shifters, bar ends and even old Sturmey-Archer style thumbsfters, but no ATB style thumshifters, however, I know they were available in 1978. So, I've a two year gap about the thumshifters, that I can't answer and that gap could fit the frame.

During the mid 70's the early ATB (they were called Clunkers, Bombers or Cruisers back then) used controls that were robbed from motorcycles as their was nothing appropriate in the bicycle industry. Those brake levers look more like ATB levers, than the Magura motorcycle levers that most riders were using. The flat bars also look like dedicated ATB bars. Most of the Clunkers had a small rise bar, again taken from a motorcycle.

So in the end, while it's possible that these are original, it's unlikely. This is one of those things that's easier to disprove than prove and I don't have any firm evidence to disprove it. Anybody else?

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   MCB Crescent - Revisited posted by: Rob on 10/15/2003 at 5:05:52 PM
Further to my recent post...last week...I had some email input from a reader that gave me some further insights into these bikes...I've seen other Crescents on several occasions in my area (Vancouver)...some in pretty good shape (the price was always too high). I understand these bikes were also widely sold in the US, as well. The cranks are a one piece "Ashtabula-style" design made by the Swedish Briga...the steel chain wheels are TA (with words Dural Forge Guarantie Legerdur Made in France). The forks, however, have me perplexed... Both sides have the Reynolds 531 decal and the front dropouts are stamped, 'Campagnolo' (the rear dropouts are stamped, 'Huret')...the crown is attractive and flat top... the color is the same orange, and to my eyes, I can't make out any shading difference...the scratches and paint chips seem consistent with the forks being, if not original, then in place for a very long time...the forks also look very much like the forks on the online photos of the higher end Crescent 'Pepita Special'. Hmmm...a replacement because of an early accident?? Or another of those little anomalies...a busy assembly line, no standard forks left, lots of higher end forks...let's put them on and keep the assembly line moving??? I'll be watching for other Crescents now to see what other insights I might be able to gain...

Always something interesting, and always something to watch for...Vintage lightweights!!! Lots of fun!!!

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Thinning the herd via e-bay posted by: Gralyn on 10/15/2003 at 11:56:39 AM
I've been trying e-bay as a means to somewhat thin the herd - of the bikes it turns out I don't really ride, or don't like to ride. Anyway, I see that I keep making mistakes on my postings. I listed a couple Raleighs months back....my wife helped me with the html...but as it turned out -she spelled Raleigh incorrectly in the title description....so I'm thinking that if anyone particularly looks up "Raleigh"...my bike won't come up. I tried it...and it didn't. Well, I listed a Puch - but I listed it as a Puch Back Trails. Where did I come up with that? I saw another Puch listed last night...and it was a Puch Pathfinder. Then a little bell goes off in my head....Hey, isn't mine a "pathfinder"? Where did I get Back Trails? When I get home this evening - I'm going to pull down that Puch and read the script on it - to verify whether it's a Pathfinder. It's got to be a Pathfinder....it's a lightweight road bike....not something you would take on the back trails.

AGE / VALUE:   Good laugh posted by: Schwinnderella on 10/15/2003 at 2:57:58 AM
Here is an ebay listing that caused me to laugh out loud.#2196940134 , Opening bid of $25,000.00, and he supplies all of one picture! Claims it was raced by Major Taylor,hope he did not race it the way it is pictured,probably would have handled badly.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Good laugh posted by mc on 10/15/2003 at 12:30:38 PM
I had a good laugh as well. For that kind of dough, you would think he would include his Suburban with it...I don't even think Baron von Draisine's prototype would be worth that. Even for one of the Major's bikes (I'm sure he rode many), it would be nice to bid on a complete bike and not a "project". Still, one zero would have to go.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Good laugh posted by mc on 10/15/2003 at 12:34:05 PM
I had a good laugh as well. For that kind of dough, you would think he would include his Suburban with it...I don't even think Baron von Draisine's prototype would be worth that. Even for one of the Major's bikes (I'm sure he rode many), it would be nice to bid on a complete bike and not a "project". Still, one zero would have to go.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Good laugh posted by T-Mar on 10/15/2003 at 12:40:43 PM
I'm not laughing. The reversed fork MAY be legitimate. Major Taylor specialized in One Mile races and this may have been an early attempt at creating a "staying" bicycle. Staying bicyles were commonly used for record attempts behind a "derny", which is a specially designed pacing motorcyle. Staying bicycles use reverse rake forks and a smaller front wheel (usually 24"/600mm). This design permits the rider to get closer to derny and receive a larger drafting effect. The reverse rake fork also attenuates the steering at high speeds.

Having said the above, it is difficult to assess in this particular case if there would be suffcient clearance with the down tube, once the tires were installed. However, the rake on the fork appears to be significantly less than standard for the period, even for a track bicycle. This is typical of a fork on a staying bicycle, though it does not have the smaller wheel. The rake is also introduced closer to the fork end, which is typical of a staying fork. Most forks from this period tend to have a longer, more gradual rake.

If it could be substantiated that this bicycle was used by Major Taylor and the condition is original, then I wouldn't be suprised if a museum would gladly pay this amount for the bicycle.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Good laugh posted by mc on 10/15/2003 at 12:43:09 PM
I had a good laugh as well. For that kind of dough, you would think he would include his Suburban with it...I don't even think Baron von Draisine's prototype would be worth that. Even for one of the Major's bikes (I'm sure he rode many), it would be nice to bid on a complete bike and not a "project". Still, one zero would have to go.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Good laugh posted by mc on 10/15/2003 at 12:43:10 PM
I had a good laugh as well. For that kind of dough, you would think he would include his Suburban with it...I don't even think Baron von Draisine's prototype would be worth that. Even for one of the Major's bikes (I'm sure he rode many), it would be nice to bid on a complete bike and not a "project". Still, one zero would have to go.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Good laugh posted by Keith on 10/15/2003 at 4:47:39 PM
When paced racing began in the Major Taylor era, motorcycles were not used. Initially, the paced racers rode behind multicycles (tandems with up to 6 riders).

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Good laugh posted by Keith on 10/15/2003 at 4:59:58 PM
P.S. I believe the "truss bridge" design of the bicycle indicates that it was a consumer model. A similar Iver Johnson is pictured on pages 78-79 of Pridmore & Hurd's The American Bicycle. Note the similar fork (not reversed). I doubt that this bike was designed for pacing. Pridmore and Hurd depicts of bicycles designed for pacing behind motorcycles on page 83, matching the description biven by T-Mar. My Motobecane is on loan to the former U.S. Colligiate track champion, who used motor pacing extensively in his training -- so it's still being done today. I believe that traditional derny races are still held in Belgium, and perhaps elsewhere.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Good laugh posted by Rob on 10/15/2003 at 5:42:35 PM
That reminds me of something I read a while ago about a guy(I forget the name...Irish surname, I think) setting a speed record in the 1890's or there abouts, in New York, or maybe it was New Jersey...he drafted behind a locomotive set up with some kind of panel....the track bed was covered with a couple of miles of planking...I can't remember the speed but it was high...

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Good laugh posted by Keith on 10/15/2003 at 6:25:33 PM
That was Charles "Mile-a-Minute" Murphy and the record was set in 1899 -- 57 seconds for 1 mile.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Good laugh posted by T-Mar on 10/15/2003 at 7:41:50 PM
Keith, Major Taylor definitely raced on a truss bridge model. Check out the photo of him racing with Ellegaarde on www.majortaylor.com .

Regarding derny racing, it is still practiced in Europe as you surmise. Reportedly, it is still also a fairly popular training method.

While multiple rider bicycles were often used in pacing events, a derny could be used depending on the type of event. After all, "multis" have certain limitations, one of which is top speed. Ultimately, Murphy had to use a train.

While the Ebay bicycle may not be a early "staying" bicycle, I think we need to keep our eyes open to possibilities and dismiss things so easily. Concepts have to start someplace and from what I've read, Major Taylor was ahead of his time in several aspects. It may be legitimate and it may not. If this item was priced within my reach, I'd be researching it very carefully before I plunked down my money. I don't think we can dismiss it on the basis of a single photograph.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Good laugh posted by T-mar on 10/15/2003 at 7:44:56 PM
Oops, I meant to say, "we need to keep our eyes open to possibilities and NOT dismiss things so easily".

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Good laugh posted by David on 10/15/2003 at 8:56:43 PM
I recall that there's a Schwinn pacing bike in the Smithsonian (the "new" building at 14th & Constitution) that has the most enormous chainwheel you'll ever see.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Good laugh posted by Keith on 10/15/2003 at 9:31:03 PM
T-Mar is right, as usual, about the truss bridge. I wonder whether the bikes were really designed for track racing with the truss bridge or whether it was added to Taylor's racing bikes to make them resemble the consumer models. I also wonder whether the ebay item doesn't simply have the fork turned around for no particular reason. It would be interesting to target when derny racing actually became a regular event, replacing the multis. Pridmore and Hurd mention that the first big motor paced event was in 1899, and Taylor rode in it. Taylor had moved on from Iver Johnson by that time, and was riding a chainless Waltham in that event.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Good laugh posted by Keith on 10/15/2003 at 10:22:31 PM
I should also mention that I did not make my judgment re the truss bridge on the basis of the picture alone, as T-Mar asserts. Rather, I was led astray by the accompanying Pridmore & Hurd text, which says that the truss bridge feature was used on consumer models to bolster the strength of the bike for use on uneven roads. Hence, even purported experts get it wrong. And, the notion of rushing to judgment applies all around.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Good laugh posted by Keith on 10/16/2003 at 1:02:04 AM
Continuing the thought, I think I recall one bike sold on ebay a few years ago that had purportedly been ridden by a prominent racer. I want to say Merckx, but that's probably wrong. Anyway, the seller had an autographed picture of the racer standing next to the bike he was selling (or an identical bike). Anyway, I suppose what's worth a laugh about the ebay bike is that even if its authentic, the seller has a lot to learn -- offering only a single incomplete view of an item that he wants to sell for $25,000 seems to fly in the face of common sense. The same goes for the lack of any offer or attempt to prove the link to Taylor aside from the obvious fact that Taylor rode Iver Johnson at one point in his career. But bottom line -- if it was real, and I was VERY wealthy, why not? I'd diplay it next to my Coppi Bianchi and my Merckx hour record bike.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Good laugh posted by T-Mar on 10/16/2003 at 1:55:41 AM
Sorry Keith, I didn't mean to imply that you made your judgement on the basis of the picture. I did pick up on your book reference and my closing statement was meant as more of a general comment. I too have been led astray by erroneous written statements from otherwise reliable authors. Given the source, I would have made the same statement.

I can relate to David's gearing comment as I have a picture of Jose Meiffret setting his 115.934 mph record in 1961 on a staying bicycle with 130/15T gearing. The chainring almost touches the ground. By the time John Howard set the record at 152.283 mph in 1985, the bicycle more resembled a motorcycle chassis. The gearing was so large that he had to use a double bottom bracket reduction system to acheive the necessary gear. I believe the record crept even higher around the mid 1990s.

   RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Good laugh posted by JONathan on 10/16/2003 at 3:03:12 AM
Well, Tom, why not go to a larger diameter wheel to increase the velocity?
Like a P-51 Mustand, they become very stable at speed. Wouldn't the big wheels afford a better gyro effect?
I notice the gyro effect on my heavy "hoops" that came with my recent "varsity".
I saw a picture of that chap on that bike with ferris-wheel chainring. I recall he did not have a helmut, just a cap.
Obviously, he could not have thought about what he was doing, or he would not have done it.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Good laugh posted by Keith on 10/16/2003 at 1:46:02 PM
I don't know whether this would limit the size of the wheel, and I don't have the book here, but the most recent land speed record bicycles actually used motorcycle tires as bicycle tires apparently aren't trustworthy at such high speeds. That's from David Perry's Bike Cult.

   RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Good laugh posted by T-Mar on 10/16/2003 at 1:55:07 PM
Jonathan, a large rear wheel is feasible. Moser used one on one of his several Hour Record attempts. Being governed by the UCI, these large wheels were subsequently deemed illegal.

However, I don't believe the UCI governs the bicycle land speed record, so larger wheels may be acceptable. However, like anyhting else, every approach has it's benefits and drawbacks. A larger wheel requires custom rims and tires. This would be a very expensive proposition relative to fabricating a custom frame. Another concern would be the stiffness of the frame and wheel itself. The longer stays would and larger wheel would be less rigid. Beefing them up would probably more than offset the weight penalties of a double drive frame and system. The drive system on a larger wheel should be more efficient though. Aerodynamics would also be a concern, though given that the rear wheel is drafting the rider, it may not be significant.

In the end, it's probably easier to get the gyro effect by adding mass to a normal size wheel. Given the speeds involved, you'd probably want a heavier, stronger wheel anyways.

Of course, the above are just my opinions. There are many solutions to a given problem and a large wheel could work in this case. Somewhere, I have a good article on the John Howard record bicycle. If I can find it, maybe they state some rationale for the design. I'll post waht I find.

By the way, the 1961 picture I have of Meiffret that shows him wearing what appears to be a hard shell motorcyle helmet. I'm sure earlier attempts were made using only caps. Wisdom comes from making mistakes and witnessing the mistakes of others.

   RE:RE:RE:RE:AGE / VALUE:   Good laugh posted by JONathan on 10/16/2003 at 4:42:27 PM
Thanks for the insights, Tom and Keith. Tom, what you are saying about the large rear overhang from the BB is interesting from an engineering perspective.
Need a new post? Remember the "Gossimer Condor"? The rider generated 1/3 HP, which of course, meant that he was a professional cyclist who trained vigorously, but it seems off the cuff that power is sufficient to overcome the dynamic drag forces (which increase as a sq. of velocity!) providing the aerodynamics are maximized. I was passed by an "aero-bike" last year. He disappeared on the horizon real quick...this was flatland, no breeze Sacramento Valley. Pretty amazing.

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Good laugh posted by Keith on 10/16/2003 at 6:35:55 PM
Here's a blurb on Land Speed Record bicycles with a few pics:

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Good laugh posted by Rob on 10/16/2003 at 7:41:18 PM
Thanks Keith...for URL to the 152 mph bicycle....and I like the author's parting shot at journalists at the end of the second page of the site...Almost everything I've ever had first hand knowledge of, gets at least partly screwed up when the journalists get a hold of it!!!

   Motorcycle paced bicycle races posted by Richard Randall on 7/16/2004 at 1:37:00 PM
My grandfather told me about such races in a place called the Velodrome, in NYC. Can you direct me to where I might get some of the history of such spectacles?? Thank you.

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Robust St. Etienne posted by: DC Wilson on 10/14/2003 at 9:59:36 PM
Anyone heard of a French bicycle called a Robust made in St. Etienne? Looks like a 60s vintage. White head tube with red tubes and lugs elswhere plus chromed fork lowers and stays. Triplex Sport front derailleur and Campy Gran Tourismo rear derailleur. Simplex depose shifters. A Duprat Universal cottered cranks. Mafac levers and Racers. Ideale seat clamp with trash replacement seat. Normandy high flanges. Replacement rims. Never heard of this one. Any insights would be appreciated.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Robust St. Etienne posted by john on 10/16/2003 at 5:53:02 PM
St. Etienne was and is a center of French biking..I ride a vintage Cycle French Loire-St. Etienne with all the same components you have.....very light and fast...I bought it in 75...they were absorbed by another company in the 80's....Hope this helps

VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Fishy e-bay listing for Nishiki Olympic posted by: Gralyn on 10/14/2003 at 7:52:33 PM
I listed my Nishiki Olympic - the one I recently posted about - the one that's too big for me - on e-bay (item #3631197602). When I went to look it up - to check and see if it had any bids....I was surprised to see another Nishiki Olympic listed right above it. Curious, I opened it....and to my surprise - it had the exact same description! (no, I don't mean it was another bike just like mine - I mean the description was the same....like they copied my exact descritpion....font and all....and used it for their bike. Even things like the chrom cottered cranks.....but their bike had alloy cotterless cranks!)I believe their starting price was about what my reserve price was. It was just really weird....and kind of creepy.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Fishy e-bay listing for Nishiki Olympic posted by Rob on 10/14/2003 at 8:41:55 PM
Gralyn...I took a look...that is strange... It would be hard to believe it was intentional...that would make no sense in this case??? I would contact either ebay, or if you think it's not some kind of scam,...maybe send an email to the other seller... If it's a software glitch...I wonder what could be going on...I notice your listing is about 2.5 hours later that the other seller...maybe your listing somehow overwrote part of the other seller's listing???

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Fishy e-bay listing for Nishiki Olympic posted by Joe on 10/15/2003 at 4:40:25 AM
I saw both of the ads and the other seller looks to have definetly cut and pasted your text. This is very common on eBay, I have had pictures of my own items reused by other sellers who either don't have a digital camera or are too lazy to take their own. The other seller may not know enough about bikes to have written his own ad and figured your bike was close enough to his to simply steal your ad. I see that he had listed his 3 days after you did, (his is a 7 day listing and yours is a 10 day listing), and his bike is by no means a 1973, his is a much later model. I do believe there is a rule on eBay for plageurism, if nothing else, he should have at least written you to ask for permission. (I have had several people do so with my own ads, I don't mind if they ask, and almost always give the ok to use my pics, it's just the one's that think you won't notice that bug me. Especially if they are selling a competing item at the same time.
If your looking for a lue to it's date of manufacture, Nishiki's usually have a date code stamped on the right rear dropout, I have 2 here that do and the dates match the equipment on the respective bike. One is a '77 Sport with a date code of G 4 77 and the other is a Custom Sport with a date code of A 14 82, the Custom Sport was bought in mid 1982, both are Suntour equipped bikes. The Sport has an Honor rear derailleur and a Spirit up front, the '82 is AR equiped. The '77 has cottered cranks and Araya steel wheels. I am not sure if this holds true on all Nishiki's as is they had several different manufacturers. Bot of mine were made in Taiwan. The '77 has a cool looking riveted alloy headbadge with a crown shaped crest. The '82 has a decal. I had a '75 Olympic much like yours and but it was Suntour Equipped and had the same badge as the '77 I own now. My Olympic had a WIN branded 100 mm stem and Nishiki Scripted bars.

   RE:VINTAGE LIGHTWEIGHTS:   Fishy e-bay listing for Nishiki Olympic posted by Rob on 10/15/2003 at 5:04:52 PM
Sorry Gralyn...I messed up the dates...have to get the facts right before trying to do an analysis...:)... I think what Joe is saying makes the sense. And, thanks Joe, for the insight into Nishiki date codes...Im a Nishiki fand and have quite a few of them, but hadn't been aware of that dating clue...

MISC:   Moto "5 speed"; default mode posted by: JONathan on 10/14/2003 at 3:50:26 PM
My recent glorious repairs to the forks on a Motobecane "Grand Touring", c. 1978 has produced a fine ride.
I have yet to replace the front derailer that was removed because of a sheered off control arm. I have the cable taped to the seat-tube with black elec. tape.
Seems that I really can get by on my mundane rides with five gears running off the 52-tooth chainwheel. I was thinking about removing the cable and lever which makes for a cleaner-looking bike, IMHO.
Barebones 10-speed, with the need to shift to the low range effected manually...like the old Warn-hubs on jeeps. Anyway, it's no big deal to stop and move the cahin to the smaller chainring in the rare event that I need to climb with the bike.
Besides, I feel it is really retro-chic, as I read that that ois how the older bikes were shifted!
At least that's what I'll espouse when/if anyone asks. I saw a pretty raw MTB with one gear! He was flying too. It is simpler to maintain.
Just a couple cents,

   RE:MISC:   Moto posted by Rob on 10/14/2003 at 4:55:26 PM
Hey JONathan...you could always shift on the fly with a stick...but then you would have to design some kind of storage holster when it's not in use... Or, as I've heard, those gutsy guys of yesteryear would use a finger...presumably a well-calloused finger...Quick reflexes were probably an advantage...:)...

   RE:MISC:   Moto posted by Keith on 10/14/2003 at 5:00:25 PM
My copy of The Dancing Chain is on loan so I can't give you the details, but early 20th century French riders shifted chainwheels by picking the chain up with their fingers or nudging it with their heels. They also rode with long, slack chains. When I've tried to set a 10 speed up as a 5 speed I've sometimes had a problem with the chain falling off during a rear derailleur shift. So, I keep a front derailleur on the bike, even though I'm not shifting it (I remove the cable and the shifter). I have a pic here in my office of a contemporary British time trial machine (Stuart Dangerfield's) set up that way. In this years Tour de France, in the final time trial, rider David Miller had his chain come off -- the mechanic had removed the front derailleur. As I recall Phil Liggett deemed that a mistake.

   RE:MISC:   Moto posted by steve on 10/14/2003 at 10:30:16 PM
Agreed on the aesthetics, terrain permitting. A couple of my favorite lightweight utility bikes of years past were set up as 5-speeds. One of them ran OK even on 16.25" chainstays, though an experiment with one of the early narrow Suntour 6-speeds on a bike with stays a little over 17" had troubles.

AGE / VALUE:   Side pull brakes... posted by: Randy on 10/14/2003 at 12:31:34 PM
Having a bit of trouble setting up side pull brakes. One side always seems to want to drag on the rim. How does one set these things up so that they don't drag. The rims are true.

      Side pull brakes... posted by John E on 10/14/2003 at 1:41:01 PM
1) What brand/model do you use? Many (most?) models have a pair of flats, over which you can slide a thin wrench. The mounting bolt itself is the key to centering.
2) Lubricate the contact points between the return springs and the caliper arms.
3) Is the cable housing too long, such that it is always pushing down too far on one caliper arm?
4) Is the mounting bolt snug?

   RE:   Side pull brakes... posted by JONathan on 10/14/2003 at 3:46:35 PM
Sounds like it is hanging up on the return action. As John E. pointed out, lubrication might be all you need. Check that the pivot bolt is secure, too. Check the whole brake for any misaligned parts...I compare it to an identical brake that I know works right. A bent up caliper can be difficult to spot. It doesn't take much to mess those up.
The old steel jobs on the Raleigh "sports" are a point of interest. The cast alloy brakes seem to have a higher yield point, but due to the low ductility, I replace any that are bent. The steel calipers, unless they are really cocked, I just bend straight...I guess I'm a thrill-seeking cheapskate!
Cheers, and remember....you ALWAYS win, JONathan

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Side pull brakes... posted by Rob on 10/14/2003 at 5:10:18 PM
I agree with John E. analysis...if the rear cable is too long and it's a full cable run from the lever to the caliper, you can zip tie the cable to the frame, a couple of times to hold it in place...but the main thing is getting the mounting bolt right. Some calipers come with centring hardware, which, in my experience, works well...

   RE:AGE / VALUE:   Side pull brakes... posted by Rob on 10/14/2003 at 5:52:04 PM
I do mean zip tie the cable housing...not the actual cable...:)...

MISC:   Old School Roadie Decals posted by: sean on 10/13/2003 at 1:21:01 AM
I just got back from eBay and noticed there were a lot of old school campagnolo, mavic, cinelli and such decals for sale. Seller Id is: closeouthouse


AGE / VALUE:   Fuji Track bike posted by: pete on 10/12/2003 at 10:37:27 PM
I just bought a Fuji track bike which i cannot find any records for this bike ever being produced. This is what I know near the headset is a the number 73 stampped and all the lugs are decorated with half circles and diamonds. Also it has a screw on fuji emblem. Then the fork is all chrome on its stamped Shimano SFP 9 and on the back track drop out its stamped Shimano SFP 10 the rest of the bike and fork appear to be hand stamped with letters and 75. Can any one tell me anything about the bike. Such as the year it was made and the original colors? Also what does SFP stand for?